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Taft Gets City’s Top Football Seeding

From Staff Reports

Woodland Hills Taft, The Times’ No. 5-ranked team, received the top seeding Saturday in the City Section football playoffs. Taft (10-0) is the only undefeated team in the section and effectively clinched the No. 1 slot by defeating Lake Balboa Birmingham, 30-6, Friday night to win the West Valley League title.

Marine League champion Carson (8-2) and Coliseum League champion Crenshaw (7-3) were seeded second and third, respectively. Venice (8-2), the Western League champion, was seeded No. 4. The top eight seeds host first-round games.

“Taft deserves to be No. 1,” Carson Coach John Aguirre said. “They beat us head to head. They’re going to be tough to beat.”

A section committee selected the top 32 teams out of 49 in the section, with the first 16 playing in the Championship division. The next 16 will play for the Invitational title.

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Taft, which lost the City title to Dorsey on the final play of the championship game last season, will open against 16th-seeded Wilmington Banning (4-6) as first-round play begins Thursday.

Taft Coach Troy Starr said he puts no special value on being the top seed. “The year we won it, we were the seventh seed,” he said. “I think they did a good job of seeding overall.”

Carson hosts Jefferson (5-5), Crenshaw faces Western League runner-up Fairfax (6-3) and Venice will host Fremont (8-2).

“I think our seed was very fair,” Venice Coach Angelo Gasca said. “I think we’ve got one of the better first-round games. Fremont is a very good team.”

-- Eric Stephens

Placentia Valencia has forfeited its Sept. 13 victory over Villa Park for using an ineligible player. Valencia ends the regular season with a 6-4 record, and Villa Park finishes 7-3.

-- Eric Maddy

Kyle Barratt, an All-Pacific League shortstop at Crescenta Valley, signed with UC Riverside.

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-- Eric Sondheimer

Josh Schwarzapel, a 6-foot-5 outside hitter for Manhattan Beach Mira Costa and member of the U.S. youth national team, has signed with Stanford.

-- Bob Rohwer


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